“Conflict in the Penta-Border Area: Benin’s Northern Jihad from the perspective of its neighbours”, Kars de Bruijne (Clingendael Institute, The Netherlands)

Since December 2021, Benin has suffered an increasing number of armed conflicts linked to violent extremist groups. The Beninese government publicly acknowledges that there have been around 20 violent events in the period between December 2021 and May 2022. This report records 43 discrete violent events involving Violent Extremist Organisations (VEOs) from December 2021 to September 2022 (92 when including non-violent activities).  

This report makes an uncommon point: that violence in Benin presently comes from its neighbours and not from within. Developments in Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo and even Nigeria generate the problems in Alibori and Atactora (the Northern Provinces of Benin), for now. 

This report explores the activity of four main groups and the rational for expansion. A JNIM group under the command of Mouslimou, the Emir of the East, in Kompienga; a JNIM group in Tapoa (Burkina Faso); a JNIM group in Torodi (Niger) under the command of Emir of Torodi, Abu Anifa; and finally the Islamic State of the Greater Sahel (ISGS).”

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